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tv   The Daily Rundown  MSNBC  September 13, 2012 9:00am-10:00am EDT

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>> charlie crist, the man who loves a good hug. >> jon? >> i learned that mcdonald's loves america's kids and they are posting calorie counts to save america. >> and what have you learned? >> the rich are getting richer an the poor are getting drunk. >> nice replacements? >> nothing. >> what have you learned? >> meacham is extremely naive about the mcdonald's decision. but whatever. >> i learned that when america is in search of leadership, when america needed somebody to step forward and care about our kids, to bridge a gap to the next generation and make us better -- willie, mcdonald's stood in that gap. >> mcdonald's was there. >> wrap it up. >> mcdonald's may love to a fault, but i'll forgive them for that. if it's way too early, what time is it? >> "morning joe." here's chuck. the escalating backlash overnight. demonstrations erupt near the u.s. embassy in yemen one day after the ambassador and three other americans were killed in
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libya. a mob tried to overrun the embassy wall in cairo. an expanding foreign policy crisis for president obama. meanwhile, on the political front, mitt romney stands by his criticism of the obama administration's handling of the volatile situation in the middle east. those same conservative voices who were knocking on monday are singing romney's praises now. also this morning, former florida governor charlie crist says the gop left him, now he's moving left to help president obama get re-elected. account ex-gov gin up some love in the sunshine state? good morning from washington. it is thursday, september 13, 2012. this is "the daily rundown." i'm chuck todd. we begin with another tumultuous day in the middle east. is president obama dealing with a full fledged foreign policy crisis? sure looks like it this morning. froefts in the arab world linked to an amateur film denouncing islam fueling the
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demonstrations. hundreds stormed the u.s. embassy grounds in sanaa breaking through an outer perimeter, smashing windows of the security offices outside the embassy and burning cars. security guards tried to hold them off by firing into the air and protesters were unable to break in to the main embassy compound. according to a senior administration official, there has been good cooperation from the yemen government which is condemned the attacks and is working with the united states to maintain order and protect embassy facilities and the people inside. meanwhile, the u.s. has dispatched two war ships, armed with cruise missiles, closer to the libyan coast. the defense department says this is just a precautionary step. but 50 u.s. marines have also been dispatched to help guard the embassy in tripoli but there's still more questions than answers on what happened in benghazi and who was behind the attack that left four americans dead, including 52-year-old
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ambassador chris stevens, widely regarded as one of the most popular and successful american envoys in the region. and of course, sean smith, a father of two and foreign service information management officer. last night campaigning in nevada, the president warned there will be consequences for the perpetrators of the attack. >> as for the ones we lost last night, i want to assure you, we will bring their killers to justice. no act of terror will dim the light of the values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world and no act of violence will shake the resolve of the united states of america. >> that was the president at a campaign rally last night. again, today in egypt, there are hundreds of protesters and they've clashed with security forces outside the u.s. embassy in cairo while president obama went out of his way yesterday to re-affirmfies with the fledgling libyan government. did he not say a word about egypt all day until he was asked by telemundo whether the second
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largest recipient of american foreign aid after israel at $2 billion a year is still an ally of the united states of america. >> i don't think that we would consider them an ally, but we don't ker them consider them an. they are a new government that's trying to find its way. they were democratically elected. i think that we are going to have to see how they respond to this incident, how they respond to, for example, maintaining the peace treaty in -- with israel. >> after that interview, the president then had two calls last night, one with the president of libya and another with egypt's president where, according to the white house, president obama underscored the importance of egypt following through on its commitment to cooperate with the united states in securing u.s. diplomatic facilities and personnel. this morning, in an intent to diffuse protests in his own country, egypt president moreby
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vis morsi says he supported peaceful demonstrations but condemns attacks. when i sat down with in august i asked him how he would have handled egypt differently from the president. here's his answer. >> when egypt went in to timult, one, i would have been prepared for it and working with the leadership there and not been surprised at what happened. because given the revolution tunisia, you could expect this. our setting in egypt was complicated because we had an ally, a friend in my bark, and yet he was not promoting the principles that we thought were most important. >> and that's where i had asked him about whether he would have pushed mubarak out and he sort of dodged that answer. nobody wants to answer that question, i think, in hindsight at this point. but there are some short-term questions that the administration has to answer for. day before 9/11, the white house
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put out word that security had been increased for americans abroad all over in preparation for 9/11. obviously where was that security in libya? number two, was there an intelligence failure in libya? how strong is an al qaeda branch in libya? what is going on there? and three, the larger debate about the handling of the arab spring is going to be relevant when that foreign policy debate between those two men happens. now to the politics of all of this. one of the most contentious days we've seen in this campaign, the last 24 hours. mitt romney's campaign is now hunkered down and believe they can make reaganesque lemonade out of their initial lemon. even his critics from his own party and the media questioned his timing. he repeated his criticism of the president making the attacks an issue in the presidential campaign. >> do you think coming so soon after the events really unfolded overnight was appropriate to be
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weighing in on this as this crisis was unfolding in real time? >> the white house also issued a statement saying it tried to distance itself from those comments and said they were not reflecting of their views. i had the exact same reaction. the embassy of the united states issued what appear to be an apology for american principles. that was a mistake and i believe that when a mistake is made of that significance, you speak out. >> some republicans criticized romney yesterday. >> i don't feel that mr. romney has been doing himself any favors. sometimes when really bad things happen, when hot things happen, cool words or no words is the way to go. >> that was peggy noonan responding to the press conference yesterday. senator john sununu here wondered whether romney's omission of afghanistan in his convention speech. peter king, "i would have probably waited 12 or 24 hours around put out a more
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comprehensive statement." mitch mcconnell called for national unity. arizona senator jon kyl told reporters, "this is like a judge telling the woman that got rained you asked for it because of the way you dressed. okay? that's the same thing. well, america, you should be the ones to apologize. you should have known this would happen." and the conservative wing of the party, that and lambasted romney on monday loved him on wednesday. take a look. >> mitt romney's team was smart in coming out strong last night in saying we should never apologize when these things go down. >> today romney is the only guy looking presidential. romney looks like he's the only adult in the room. >> the weekly standard's bill kristo wrote romney is right to seize on this moment. he's right to reject the counsel of the mainstream media so far i
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believe pretty much so good. the "wall street journal" -- his political faux pas was to offend a pundit class that wants to cede the foreign policy debate to mr. obama. >> there's a broader lesson to be learned here. governor romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first, aim later. and as president, one of the things i've learned is you can't do that, that it's important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts and that you've thought through the ramifications before you make them. >> late yesterday, telemundo followed up with the president on those comments. >> were you not, in turn, politicizing this whole issue as well? >> well, no, i don't think so. i think my statements have been very clear. i was asked directly by steve kroft on "60 minutes" what i
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thought of these comments. what i said was, this wasn't the time for politics. meanwhile, paul ryan heads back to capitol hill for house business but the rest of the major players are out on the trail today all in battleground states. president stumps in colorado. vice president biden is in ohio. at a campaign stop in ohio last night, paul ryan backed romney's position on egypt hammering the president on foreign policy. >> the administration sent mixed signals to those who attacked our embassy in egypt and mixed signals to the world. this administration's policies project weakness abroad. >> bill clinton continued his campaign swing for the president stumping in florida for a second day and talking about the need for bipartisanship just like they had in the good old days. apparently of impeachment. the biggest tactical development in the campaign happened yesterday in the state of florida. obama campaign decided to make a massive tv ad. they bought time in ten media markets in sunshine state. tampa, orlando and miami topping
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the list. i can tell you, they believe florida is their check mate state. they think they're up right now. they doubled down, they're up for the first time on broadcast in miami. mitt romney's yet to go up in broadcast in miami. the obama campaign trying to realize they have a little bit of a funding deficit than the romney campaign, making romney folks spend a lot of time an money and resources in the state of florida. to the big story, the white house is grappling with a full blown diplomatic crisis. protests outside the u.s. embassy in yemen, an investigation into the death of the ambassador to libya and troubling questions about the u.s. relationships with egypt as new demonstrations break out in cairo today. nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel is live for us in the egyptian capital. richard, i want to get your first reaction before you give me your report of the president saying egypt was not an ally nor
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an enemy. >> i almost had to sit down when i heard that. for the last 40 years the united states has had two main allies, arab allies, in the middle east -- saudi arabia and egypt. the other ally in the middle east being israel. so for the president to come out and say, well, he's not exactly sure if egypt is an ally anymore but it's not an enemy, that is a significant change in the perspective of washington toward this country, the biggest country in the arab world. it makes one wonder, well, was it worth it? was it worth supporting the arab spring, supporting the demonstrations here in tahrir square, when now in tahrir square there are clashes going on behind me right in front of the u.s. embassy. you can see now teargas coming -- that teargas being fired into a crowd of demonstrators who are trying to get close to the u.s. embassy which is at the end of that
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street and throw rocks at the u.s. embassy. a very different scene here, a very different egypt. before, when the united states, president obama, was supporting the demonstrators here, president mubarak was in power -- and egypt was very much an ally. now, the president doesn't seem to be sure if egypt is an ally anymore. and some demonstrators who the arab spring helped give a voice to are trying to attack the u.s. embassy. >> how is the egyptian leadership going to respond to the president basically calling into question egypt's relationship to the united states? obviously financially, this is a huge issue for the egyptian government and a big test for morsi. >> reporter: the egyptian government has finally responded. i say "finally" because it was perceived to be somewhat late. the egyptian government gave somewhat of a half-hearted denouncement of what has been going on in cairo and what has
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been going on in libya. not as strong as the statements coming out of the libyan government. president morsi here from the muslim brother hood said that he supports the demonstration. actually his party, the muslim brotherhood, is calling for more demonstrations tomorrow across egypt to denounce insults against islam. but then with that caveat saying that he supports, in principle, the idea of demonstrating to defend one's religious rights. he came out and said, but we shouldn't attack diplomatic property, which is still happening right now. but in egypt's defense, what is happening now, if you continue to watch i think it ebbs and flows a little bit, you might see another bout of intense teargas. this is what the egyptian government has been asked to do by washington, to step up efforts to keep demonstrators away from the embassy gates. >> richard engel in cairo for us today, thank you, sir. we'll keep our eyes on the
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developing north through north africa and the middle east all morning long. plus, former florida governor charlie crist is now embracing president obama big time. he's getting a lift from this guy, too. can crist-crossing help obama win in florida? we'll ask him next. and here's a look at the schedules of both president obama and mitt romney. the president in colorado, romney, virginia. it's 55 days. [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix. when the doctor told me that i could smoke for the first week... i'm like...yeah, ok... little did i know that one week later i wasn't smoking. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix.
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he was once a republican, then he turned independent, but
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could he jump to the democratic party? is that in charlie crist's future? the former florida governor hasn't gotten that far but he's stumping for the president at the dnc and more recently at a rally in st. pete. >> when i served as a republican governor, you know, i'm not in that party anymore. they left me. but when i was -- even though i was still a republican, when we had an oil spill, when we needed help for our teachers, our police, and our firefighters, president barack obama was there for us. >> former governor crist joins me now. good morning, governor. >> good morning, chuck. how you doing? >> let me start with a simple question. do you consider yourself a democrat now at this point? you spoke at the democratic convention. you're stumping for the president. are you a democrat now? >> i'm an independent. technically they call it in florida no party registration.
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but i'm happy to be helping the president in florida. i think it is awfully important, as you mentioned in the earlier part of your report, if the president wins in florida, you're the best numbers guy i know when it comes to these kind of things, that makes it very, very difficult, if not impossible, for governor romney to win the election. so i think that by working so hard in florida, doing so much for my fellow floridians, as i said earlier, he really helped our teachers, our firefighters, law enforcement officials, he helped us with the bp oil spill and he didn't care that i was a republican. he was willing to reach across the line in a very bipartisan fashion. i think that's what florida wants. i think that's what america needs. and that's why i'm so proud to support him. this is a guy who really cares about people, about politics, and doing what's right for the people that you serve. >> as you know, there are a lot of florida republicans very upset with you about some of your moves. here's the current state party chairman, lenny curry, told me last week about you.
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i want to give you a chance to respond but let me play what he said. >> that is a man without a party, a man without a base, which makes him a dangerous, crass political opportunist. he's a self-proclaimed ronald reagan, jeb bush republican and his views on abortion are the same at akin. >> is he right? are you pro-life? a jeb bush republican? what are you? >> i'm a proud floridian and a proud american. i believe in the values that my parents raised me and my three sisters by, and that is to do unto others and you would have done to you, that you would respect other people. when i embrace the president when he came to ft. myers in 2009 to talk about the recovery act, i embraced him and that proposal on two fronts. number one, i knew it was good for our state. we're in a deep economic hole. we're about to go off the economic cliff. but number two, you treat the president of the united states with the respect that that office deserves and it was important to me to do that and if other people have a hard time
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being respectful to people like the president of the united states, it really doesn't bother me. he said i'm an opportunist. listen, in the past two weeks it's been an opportunity to get my head bashed in. if anybody thinks that's a fun thing to go through, they're wrong. but it's important to florida, it's important to america. i believe in this president and i know he serves with a servant's heart and wants to help us. >> both in 2006 and during the primary, a short period where it was a republican primary with marco rubio, you at times described yourself as a pro-life, pro-gun conservative. would you still describe yourself as a pro-life, pro-gun conservative regardless of what party you are a member of? >> yes, i would. and even though i'm pro-life, i wouldn't want to impose my will on others and that's the distinction and the difference. when i ran in the republican primary for governor in '06, i said, look, i'm a live and let live kind of guy. i just don't feel that intolerance or imposing your views and your will on other people is the right way to go in
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this country. so, yeah. i'm the same guy i've always been. and what i said at the convention last week in charlotte was true. republican party left me. i know there's plenty of good republicans out there. my mom and dad still are. but the republican party today is being led far right, unfortunately, whether you're talking about immigration, education, what have you. i mean some of these policies i just can't accept anymore. to be true to myself, i had to depart. and because the party had left me. >> are you open to running as a democrat for governor in 2014? >> i'm not thinking about that, chuck. what i'm thinking about is doing everything that i can -- >> but you haven't shut the door on that. >> i haven't shut the door and i haven't opened the door. i just want to try to re-elect president obama. >> do you have an opinion on the bill nelson/connie mack race? >> i do. i'm supporting bill nelson. i was with him the other day in st. petersburg at the rally that you showed. he's a good man, he's worked hard for florida, he's a
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moderate and i think he will win. >> charlie crist, former governor of florida, independent candidate for senate and supporting the president. thanks for coming up. high hopes on wall street ahead of today's big announcement from the fed. the market rundown is next. plus, paul ryan returns to his day job on capitol hill. and while crops are witt withering in the midwest. congress tries to pass a farm bill before times runs out. which of two states brought the house of representatives to its current size of 435 members? by the way, it should keep expanding but that's a whole nother debate. tweet me your answer. first correct answer will get a call on thursday from us. speaking of correct answers for our eagle eye watchers, our map was right. what i said was wrong. vice president biden is in wisconsin today. not ohio. again, we got our map right. i'm the idiot that messed that up. we'll be right back. ♪
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paul ryan returns to capitol hill today for the first time since mitt romney tapped him to be his running mate. the house is scheduled to vote on a stop gap spending bill that will keep the government operating in the fiscal year that begins okay 1st at least through march. democratic congressman john yarmouth of kentucky is a member of the budget committee. congressman, eight days you guys are going to stay in session, are we going to get this stopgap measure? >> i think that's right. there doesn't seem to be much movement on anything else. we'll probably extend the farm bill at least temporarily so that payments to farmers won't be discontinued. >> you think it will be a one-year, not the five-year?
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i'm going to be talking with chuck grassley on this but he's still optimistic on five. you think it will be a one year? >> i don't think there's any way to move a five-year bill, at least not on the house side. i think those are the two things we'll do. we're in session another day this week. looks like only two days next week so i doubt if we'll even have eight more days before the election. >> what's the preparations that are being done for november 7th when the lame duck has to start focusing on the fiscal cliff? >> you know, i don't see much of anything happening right now. there's -- there doesn't seem to be a lot of negotiation going on. this really, on our side of the capital, this relies on speaker boehner and majority leader cant' cantore. they haven't been willing to challenge their own republican members to come off of this
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intransigence. >> you have 12 days that are scheduled -- i'm going through election years. it is the second-lowest we've gone back in ten congresses. when the democrats were in charge, they only had 11 days scheduled. so this is a bipartisan effort here. how much do constituents give you grief for not working? >> well, i think this year a little bit more than in the past because they're much more aware this year of the obstructionism and the inactivity and the gridlock. now i think they're much more sensitive to the fact that with the few days that we're scheduled, we're not even trying. at least that's the perception that a lot of them are getting. i know a lot of republicans are hearing from their members as well, you're not even trying.
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we vot we've got a lot of very important matters to deal with before end of the year. fiscal cliff is approaching an we're basically just campaigning and that's not good for the reputation of congress, as low as it is already. it's not going to help. >> you told the louisville courier journal, i'm doing everything i can to make sure he is a former five-term senator. that's my top political priority. you were referring to your senior senator from the state of kentucky, republican mitch mcconnell who, by the way, just hired rand and ron paul's chief strategist to become his campaign manager for the 2014 re-elect. are you planning on running against mitch mcconnell in 2014? >> no, i think there are going to be a lot more candidates stronger than me state wide. i'm very happy in my district and focused on winning re-election. i don't think there's anything more important for our commonwealth and the country than to retire mitch mcconnell because he's been one of the main obstructors of any progress
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that we could make as a congress. so i'm going to be committed to beating him and believe me, i'm going to have a lot of help in kentucky. >> i will leave it there. democrat john yarmuth from louisville, thanks for coming on this morning. wall street looking for a big gift today from the fed chair, ben bernanke. but will they get? the opening bell just rang on wall street. let's go quickly to the market rundown to my friend, becky quick. well? >> well, they are expecting this big gift. they have almost factored it in as a given. gi gift i'm talking about more quantitative easing, that qe3 program, more stimulus from the fed. most market watchers are anticipating that the fed chairman will announce that they are buying back more sorts of assets and that should help stimulate the economy. now it's not an absolute done deal but the market's certainly been baking it in. that's why yesterday the clou closed at another 4 1/2-year high. it is slightly higher this morning as we are getting into the trading session here. big question will be how big of a package or how big of a
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program does come out. if it turns out there is no announcement of quantitative easing today, that will probably be a disappointment to the market. you could expect to see it sell off. the big announcement comes at 12:15 eastern time, followed up in the 2:00 hour by a press conference from ben bernanke so we'll all be watching it very closely. by the way, i'm so glad you asked that last question of the congressman about how many days they work, because 50 days and you're going to be there eight in session? i'll sign up for that gig. >> who wouldn't? this is a full-time congress. i'll put that in quotes anyway. >> i'll see you tomorrow morning, right? >> yeah. we're still here. we got to work every day. senator chuck grassley joins me next. back in 30 seconds.
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farmers haven't gotten any breaks from mother nature this year an they're not getting any from congress either. just 18 days to go before the massive farm bill expires. a coalition of groups have rallied outside the capitol wednesday in a last ditch effort to get the louse to act. the senate passed its version way back in june but a bunch of house conservatives are now breaking with leadership and pushing to finish the bill before lawmakers leave town next week. so far no vote has been scheduled. as the iowa governor explained last month, the reason has nothing do with those struggling farmers. >> the biggest problem i think a lot of people have is the massive expansion of the food stamp program. we have more people on food
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stamps than ever before. they've liberalized the rules and a lot of people think they need to tighten that up. >> it's true that funding for the food stamp program makes up about 80% of the farm bill. $770 billion out of $970 billion price tag. but should opposition to food stamps put the whole bill at risk? take a look at the consequences. if there is no bill passed by september 30th, the u.s. agricultural policy would enter a kind of bizarre time carp back to the days of truman and fdr. that's because failure to act means the law would revert back to the last time permanent federal provisions were put on the books. both the 1938 in 1949. every bill that's been passed since had superseded those laws but not replaced them. but if the current bill is not extended or replaced, the old laws kick back in. that means 63 years of updated provisions disappear, including more than three dozen agricultural programs, as well as some federal farm subsidies. in the modern formula, that sets
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prices to formers like that of 1949. i'm sure that would be good. that would push crop prices, potentially destabilize an entire industry. earlier this morning i spoke with republican senator chuck grassley about if that scenario can be avoided. >> senator, start with the status of the farm bill. are you going to get an actual farm bill passed before you guys leave town, which i think is now eight days from now? >> i'm going to fight for a five-year farm bill because farmers in this country need long-term view. you make long-term plans. not just from month to month or year to year. now if we don't get that, we ought to at least have a one-year extension of the existing farm bill. but what i think you know, we can't go back to the 1949 farm bill. that's too bureaucratic and it's not the way agriculture is in the 21st century. >> i know this is being caught
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up in some politics inside the republican party, particularly on the house side. what's your message to some house republicans that don't like, that are upset about the food stamp thing? do you -- have you made the pitch to them to set that aside? what's your case? >> well, my case is that there's a certain amount of legitimacy with a 46% increase in food stamp recipients in the last three years. now some of that's because of the economy, but also some of it is vastly expanded during the stimulus bill. so what's been done so far is just a 2% cutback. it seems to me that people that want to support food stamps shouldn't complain about a 42% -- or a 2% cutback in food stamps when there's a $21 billion savings in the farm part of the bill. and 80% of the bill is food stamps, not to go to farmers. so i think there's a certain
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legitimacy of the position they take, particularly with a dr dramatic expansion. >> is everybody going to scuttle the bill though, in your opinion? >> it should not scuttle the bill. i think that you are going to find a compromise reached before october 1st because this just isn't common sense to go back to 1949 farm bill. >> what is the drought conditions right now in the state of iowa? >> the drought conditions are very, very bad. the worst drought in our state since the 1950s. but it's an odd situation where some people are getting just as good a crops as they got last year, then there's a lot of places in the state where they're not getting anything and it's probably related to a few areas that got rain that didn't get areas -- didn't get rain, very isolated areas. and another what is the condition of the soil where you
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have the solid clay black soil, getting very good crops, and maybe where you got sandy soil, getting nothing. >> let me ask you a question about foreign policy before i let you go. we have this situation with egypt right now where they're not acting like an ally. in fact, the president himself doesn't call egypt an ally but also says they're not an enemy. you've been voting for aid to egypt ever since you got to the united states senate. it's been the second largest recipient of united states ate. are they earning that aid right now? >> no. just the opposite. first of all, why did we give them that aid? it is because of the camp david accords, the peace between egypt and israel. we felt that was to our economic advantage, our national security advantage, and so we were willing to give some aid to egypt for that. but now the situation is that they aren't acting like the camp david accords would imply that
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they should act, and under those circumstances, it seems to me that they should not get the aid. i feel a little bit the same way about pakistan, because they -- they imprisoned that doctor. they gave us the information to get to bin laden and so we shouldn't be giving aid for people that aren't our friend. >> but what do you do in a situation like egypt where that is the -- that was the will of the people, they elected a government that isn't very friendly to the united states and yet we do need them for our security. >> well, let's put it this way. we need them for our security if they're willing to abide by the camp david accords, which you've got to -- if you're operating in international law under treaties, you got to maintain respect for that international law. and if somebody doesn't have respect for the rule of law, we can still have relationships with them, but we don't have to give them a lot of hard-earned taxpayer money, $1.3 billion.
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that's a lot of money and they ought to earn it. we've been rewarding them and we're willing to continue doing it. they elected a person that wasn't on a process of killing relations with the united states, so i don't think that that's a good excuse. >> all right, senator chuck grassley, republican from iowa, working on this farm bill. you gave us a couple of paths forward there that it may happen. either the five-year deal happens or one-year extension, we'll be watching. you have one house democrat and one senate republican saying the one-year extension is the option. i think we know how the farm bill's going to end this year. up next, what would reagan do? how romney's criticism of the current commander in chief stacks up against reagan during the iranian hostage crisis. that's up next with our panel. the soup of the day -- today i give you chicken tortilla. follow the show on facebook.
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you're watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. we'll be right back. ♪ [ male announcer ] from our nation's networks... ♪ our city streets... ♪ skies around the world... ♪ ...northrop grumman's security solutions are invisibly at work, protecting people's lives... [ soldier ] move out! [ male announcer ] ...without their even knowing it. that's the value of performance. northrop grumman.
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mitt romney's reaction to the middle east situation is provoking some comparisons to pivotal moments of foreign policy in past presidential races. here's one that's worth remembering. it was april of 1980. president jimmy carter had ordered a military rescue mission to bring back the 53 american citizens held hostage in iran. on april 24th the mission ended in disaster. when a helicopter crashed killing eight u.s. service members. a day later, in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, president carter's rival, then republican presidential candidate ronald reagan took a modest tone in reacting to the failed mission saying this. >> this is a difficult day for all of us as americans. our hearts go out to the families of the brave men who were lost and to those who lie
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injured. we sympathize with the families of the hostages whose burden now is even greater. it's time for us as a nation and as a people to stand united. it is a day for quiet reflection. it is a moment when words should be few and confined essentially to our prayers. >> it wasn't until six days later after the tragedy that reagan went on the political attack again, hitting president carter for the administration's policy on iran. >> it is very difficult to understand why it took so many months to take any action at all. during the first few days, the president should have determined whether diplomatic steps would be sufficient to free our citizens. when those steps failed, decisive action should have been taken promptly. instead, mr. carter has announced a variety of moves he now plans to make. but then he delayed, vacillated and frequently canceled those actions. >> did then-candidate reagan's reaction provide a road map that romney could have followed this
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week? mollyball, alfonso agular, and danielle gibbs. you see those reagan clips. do you say to yourself, what if mitt romney had followed that path? >> well, yes. i think he could have waited, could have waited a couple of days. i agree with the general point that he made, which i think he should have waited a couple of days to go on the attack. i think when something like this happens, you have to identify with the press. he's the commander in chief. certainly there are big points to be made, a policy of appeasement, of apology doesn't help. it weakens -- >> you think this is romney having a harder time making this
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argument but he still has to deal with the process story? >> absolutely. i would have waited a couple of days and give a broader speech how the policies of appeasement and apology weakens our role across the globe and encourages the type of situation that happened in egypt and libya. >> molly, talk about the larger conversation here. there is i think a larger debate that's going to be had about for instance, the arab spring, what we did in egypt, was it worth it, what we did in libya, was it woh it. >> yeah, well i think alfonso is right, that debate has been obscured by this question of timing which in the big picture is not really a policy issue. i mean who cares whether it was now or 24 hours from now. but the reason people care about that is that the major critique that romney has made of obama is one of leadership and one of tone, saying that this whole idea of leading from behind and making the u.s. look weak is essentially not about policies, because on policy, romney has with a little bit of lack of
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clarity, but he has supported, for example, the action in libya. so but what he's saying is the united states needs to take a stronger, more forceful tone. in a way, the fact that he came out so quickly to make this statement against the president's policy is of a piece with his attitude that the u.s. needs to be more aggress i, forthcoming, can't hang back and wait for events before deciding how to respond to things on the international stage. >> how concerned are you now that there is a larger debate and frankly, the arab spring which, president mubarak would still be in power if the president hadn't nudged him out. he was the final sort of -- it was the only way mubarak, when he knew he lost the united states, there was no way he could stay in power. now that's going to be up for debate. >> i don't think that the campaign is very concerned about this debate. i think they welcome it when you look at polls and you talk to people on foreign policy. president obama's much stronger than mitt romney and i think these past couple of days have demonstrated why. i think that governor romney has
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been a candidate for so long that maybe he forgot that when you govern, sometimes things are nuanced and sometimes you have to take a breath and wait until all the facts play out before you step in it which is really what he did. as far as what's happening over there, i think what the president said on telemundo was right. we have to wait and see what happens happening. things are changing happening. things are changing overseas and we didn't know how things will turn out yet and i think this rush to judgment, this rush to say the president is appeasing and all thrk i think it does a disservice to the conversation. >> you referred to the telemundo interview. something the president said which was revealing, remember one of our main allies it in the region was mubarak. the president sooupported the ab spring but now he's saying they're not an ally but not an enemy. >> i asked this of mitt romney. what american president was going to be on the wrong side of
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small d democratic history. isn't that the issue? >> so when you talk to foreign policy experts, i think they agree with the president. we just tonigdon't know how it turn out. >> i think we have to support our allies and now we have a government we don't know if we can trust. >> and the test is coming with saudi arabia. when we come back, we asked the admission of which two states brought the house of representatives to its current size of 435 members. it's arizona and new mexico. 1911, congress set the size of the house at 433 with a catch yot th caveat that arizona and new mexico would each get one representative when they were admitted into the union.that ar would each get one representative when they were admitted into the union. do you have a political question we should use in e-mail us. [ male announcer ] let's say you need to take care of legal matters.
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we're short on time. let's bring back the panel. alphonso, i want to get to you react to a prediction president obama made on telemundo last night. he believes after the election, republicans he'll be able to find republicans to work with him to get comprehensive immigration reform. do you believe he's right? >> if he's reelected, which, look, the reality is i don't know why the president thinks. who is he to lecture republicans. he had an opportunity to push immigration reform the first year of his administration and he did not. and he's deported more people than any other president in history. so why is he criticizing republicans. i don't know. >> molly, mitt romney, if he gives a major policy speech before october 3rd, will it be on foreign policy or will it be on detailses for his tax plan?
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>> a couple days ago i would have said the tax plan. either way, there's a lot of pressure from nervous republicans to go big, make some kind of big statement. maybe now it will be foreign policy in order to clarify the events of the last few days. but there's a lot of pressure on him to do something policy oriented. >> in florida the obama campaign is going all in in a way that i don't think six months ago they would have. do they have the money to keep it up? >> i think so. and given their vulnerability to medicare, absolutely. >> shameless plug. >> speaking of medicare, the action fund released a report that got a lot of attention showing how romney's plan on medicare would seriously hurt seniors. >> you mentioned how bernanke may announce another series of quantitative easing. this is what got us in the financial crisis. we have to go back to the gold standard. the gop platform calls for -- >> wow. jack kemp is smiling.
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>> speaking of the debates, if people are getting ready to watch the debates, they need to read my colleague's piece in the atlantic. >> every presidential cycle, a great pregame. that's it for this edition. for him i got brand new battleground polls. the big three. virginia, florida, ohio. coming up next, chris jansing. i'm todd santos. lots of sunshine at least across the northeast. boston, down through d.c., down towards atlanta, a few more clouds. really florida the best chance to get some of the showers and thunderstorms. detroit and chicago also some of that activity. dallas, as well. quiet from seattle down to denix. gives you a 50% annual . and everyone likes 50% more [ russian accent ] rubles. eh, eheh, eh, eh.
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riding the dog like it's a small horse is frowned upon in this establishment! luckily though, ya know,